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Here’s How Mnuchin’s Managed To Survive In Trumpworld

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stays out of the limelight — unless he’s defending his boss.

Many are surprised Mnuchin, a moderate with no prior experience in politics, would last this long in the White House, as noted in a Bloomberg profile. His strategy for remaining a player in the ever-changing administration was to stay silent, keeping any hint of disagreement with President Trump out of the press, and put out fires following a controversial moment or tweet.

Before winning, Trump openly said that Mnuchin, then his friend and finance chairman, would be his Treasury secretary, Bloomberg reported. Mnuchin intently prepared for the job interview — one person familiar with the vetting process says he sat in on at least one of the president-elect’s interviews with another candidate for the position.

After he was confirmed, Mnuchin said every living former Treasury secretary gathered for a dinner in his honor. “You realize the seriousness of this job and the tradition that this goes all the way back to Alexander Hamilton,” he said.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s current CEO, told Bloomberg that he was confused to why people still “undervalue” his former colleague, for he is “a star.”

Some call Mnuchin a “Wall Street Democrat,” as he balances his ideology. He has gone against the administration at times, trying to dissuade Trump from launching a full-blown trade war with China and enforcing sanctions against Russia. He also has often found himself having to explain that Trump really didn’t mean what he just said or tweeted, like when he did damage control in Buenos Aires — when Mnuchin arrived for the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting, the president was on a Twitter tirade, lashing out at Europe and China about their currencies.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


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